If you ask a gamer to name some popular shooter titles, they will tell you games like Call of Duty, Doom, Halo, Grand Theft Auto and Goldeneye. Before all of these hit the shelves, Nintendo had a vision of providing a shooter game with the new Nintendo Entertainment System launch in 1985. One of the games that would be the poster child of the NES shooters was Duck Hunt. The NES offered an alternative to games using the control pad by creating the “Light Gun”, also known as the “NES Zapper.” This plastic, gun-shaped controller made shooting at the TV screen exciting and challenging at the same time. Duck Hunt was the game designed for all ages. As simple as the task of shooting birds in the sky was, the game itself brought challenges to the gamer, so long as you were not putting the barrel of gun right on the screen.

Duck Hunt was released at launch with the NES on October 18, 1985. The rules were very simple. When one or two ducks ew out, you would attempt to shoot them down. The higher the level, the faster they would fly around making it more difficult to shoot them down. Trees and bushes occasionally blocked your shots. When the round was over, points were tallied based on your performance. If you reached the requisite score for that round, you moved on to the next one. Each me the ducks ew onto the screen, the player got three shots in order to hit one or two of the ducks. If you missed them, an annoying dog popped out of the bushes and laughed at you, ending the game.

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Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (396 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.